tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS December 4, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
bill whitaker reports from california. schools close as the flu bug spreads. elaine quijano reports on where the virus is worse and how effective the vaccine can be and in what city in america can you find a kid from every country? the world? seth doane follows danny goldfield who's answering this question with a bus pass. >> so far i have photographed children from 169 countries. i have 24 more. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. president obama dug in his heels today insisting on tax revenues for higher income earners but at a hint of compromise he said he would consider lowering tax breaks again next year. mr. obama wants to raise taxes on individuals who make more
than $200,000 a year and on couples making more than $250. he said this today. the way to recovery. bill whitaker reports from california. schools close as the flu bug spreads. elaine quijano reports on where the virus is woshs and how efgtd the vaccine can be. and what city in america. >> raise revenues that are sufficient to balance with >> the issues is that we are going to have to raise revenues that are sufficient to balance with very you have to cuts that we've already made and we're going to have to see the rates on the top 2% go up and we're not going to be able to get a deal without it. >> pelley: that, the republican house speaker said in response, will never work. the republican counter offer cuts spending and raises taxes
for no one and nancy cordes has the state of play as of tonight. nancy? >> reporter: scott, a dispute erupted today over whether negotiations are going on at all. top republican aides insisted they hit a wall while the white house press secretary insisted they were still on. but that was right before he likened the latest republican proposal to "magic beans and fairy dust." democrats complain the new proposal from house speaker john boehner is too vague about tax increases even as it lays out a tough package of spending cuts. for instance raising medicare's eligibility age for the first time in the program's history most likely by two years from 65 to 67 the move would not apply to americans who are close to retirement now. it would be phased in for younger workers such as maggie, a virginia health club manager who just turned 50 last month. >> i think the biggest factor for me is when are you going to retire so you lose your insurance from work and if it goes to 67 you have this two- year gap.
what are you going to do? >> reporter: when medicare was created in 1966, the average life expectancy for men was 67 years, today it's 76 and women live on average to 81. one recent study by the kaiser family foundation estimated that shifting medicare eligibility from 65 to 67 would save the federal government $5.7 billion a year. 65 and 66-year-olds would pay an extra $3.7 billion a year to ensure themselves. the employers would pay billions more. >> it would finally bankrupt me. >> reporter: 45-year-old linda shulte is a florida realtor and breast cancer survivor who has struggled to find insurance. >> as an employee i've paid into the medicare system and they keep putting it out of reach for us. >> reporter: shifting the eligibility age upwards has gotten traction on capitol hill in recent years even among
democrats. but republicans say they deserve serious credit for putting it on the table in these negotiations, scott, even though it might be unpopular. >> pelley: nancy, there's another tax that will be affected by all of this, the payroll tax and it was reduced by two percentage points during the economic crisis. it's listed on your pay stub as f.i.c.a. which, by the way, stands for federal insurance contributions act. it's, simply put, the money you pay to social security and medicare. that tax cut is due to expire at the end of this month also. so we asked jim axelrod to tell us what that will mean. >> reporter: the payroll tax cut is giving this family an extra $70 month to spend. john mejia is a maintenance man in new jersey. are you paying attention to what's going on in washington
right now? >> of course we are. >> reporter: the mejia's $50,000 a year income puts them almost in the middle of american households. if the payroll tax cut is not extended, those families would pay an average of $1,035 a year more in social security taxes. do you have room to cut back? >> no, sir, i don't. i guess we'll do some type of magic like we do every month here in our household, that's what i call it. >> reporter: if the tax cut expires, pay cut contributions will go from 4.% to 6.2%, that's $115 billion a year that will go to deficit reduction instead of being pumped into the economy. heidi cherholts is an economist. >> it's less money for consumers to spend that means the demand for goods and services will drop. who provides goods and services? workers. so employment will fall. >> reporter: those in favor of allowing the tax cut to expire argue money for social security payments has to come from
somewhere. with although mejia says that somewhere will mean doing without some of the basics. >> might be a pair of sneakers. might be that jacket that they want to go to school with in the winter. might be those pair of boots that they want to go and keep warm. >> reporter: for john mejia, the debate in washington is not about the federal budget it's about his family's. jim axelrod, cbs news, west new york, new jersey. >> pelley: well, a lot of families with tight budgets will be happy to hear this next story: the housing market is coming back. we got a report today that says home prices in october had their biggest gain in six years. up more than 6%. sales have been rising, too. we haven't seen news like this since the housing meltdown. bill whitaker shows us what it looks like in southern california. >> reporter: los angeles contractor steve andolin routinely has five or six houses under construction before the
crash. the recession cut that in half. what are you seeing as far as this market? >> well, definitely an improvement in sale price. prices are going up. >> reporter: he's now hiring more builders, plumbers, electricians, jobs that in l.a. pay $25 to $40 an hour. >> people were scared before and now people have a little bit more confidence and are willing to act. >> reporter: perhaps even feeling pressure to buy. elana giplable has been house hunting for more than a year. she's noticed something new, competition. >> you feel like there's definitely a high demand and if you want something you have to jump on it, otherwise you might lose it. >> reporter: in southern california, the median home price jumped more than 16% in the last year. sales up more than 25%. the biggest increase in six years. l.a. realtor ben lee says the rebound is real. >> the increase in buyer confidence is putting people back in the market. >> reporter: so literally seeing people bidding prices up? >> absolutely. all the time. >> reporter: with housing prices
near record lows and interest rates near record lows the contractors and realtors we spoke to today, scott, say they expect to see the housing market here in los angeles back at pre- recession levels within a year. >> reporter: bill whitaker in the l.a. bureau. bill, thank you very much. the flu season usually doesn't kick into high gear until after christmas. but almost every state is reporting cases already, with the five southern states you see in red showing the highest rates. in tennessee, schools in three counties have been shut down. elaine quijano has the latest on the flu. >> reporter: dr. adam murdoch is already treating two flu patients a day at his dallas clinic. last year at this time he wasn't seeing that many in a week. >> the fact that we've seen an uptick this early in the season potentially indicates this is could be a bad flu season. >> reporter: texas is one of
five southern states seeing the highest concentration of suspected cases. >> the flu vaccine is the best way we have to prevent flu-like illness but it's not 100% preventative. >> reporter: michael osterholm specializes in infectious diseases. he says the vaccine is 59% effective in young, healthy adults. osterholm examined medical records and flu studies dating back to 1936. >> if we do nothing to change our current vaccines we in two ways miss very, very important outcome goals. one is protecting those who are over age 65, the age population that has the highest risk of death. the second piece is that when the next pandemic strain of influenza virus emerges somewhere in the world we very well miss the opportunity to protect most people against that pandemic. >> reporter: the report calls current vaccine production-- which involves growing viruses in chicken eggs-- slow, inexact, and outdated. researchers also found the flu vaccine is most effective in children, but offers little protection in those 65 and older. even though a growing number get
vaccinated, deaths from the flu haven't decreased. 90% of deaths in a typical flu season occur in the elderly. despite his concerns, michael osterholm still recommends that people do get the flu vaccine. he says the vaccination is safe and, scott, he says some protection is better than none. >> pelley: elaine, thank you. syria's civil war is getting closer to the dictator. today there were battles between the assad military and rebels around the capital, damascus, a mortar slammed into a school near the capital, killing at least nine students. it's not clear who fired it. outside journalists rarely get inside syria, but our elizabeth palmer reached damascus and the families suffering there. >> reporter: this is the new normal in damascus: going to work past military checkpoints. random explosions and heavily armed soldiers. trying to ignore the charred
wreckage of car bombs, knowing there will be others which could explode any time, anywhere. a twin blast in a neighborhood last week killed more than 30 people. the community rallied to repair shattered windows and walls, but any feeling of security is gone. across the capital, people are gradually adjusting to the encroaching war. "my children don't go to school any more" this man told me. "and everyday we hear the noise of shelling all around us." does it scare you at night? >> of course, i'm not scared about them. >> reporter: you're not scared? >> no. >> reporter: why? >> because i-- >> he's very used to it. >> reporter: you're used to it? >> yes. >> reporter: in some inner city school neighborhoods, they're under extra pressure to take children who from families who fled the bombed suburbs.
look at this grade six class, 55 11-year-olds crammed in for the morning shift. all of you who are a little bit afraid, especially at night, raise your hands. "a bomb," this boy said "exploded next to my old school." and his friend had to dodge a sudden gun fight. this for them is the new normal. >> pelley: elizabeth palmer is back in our london bureau tonight. elizabeth, how are these people getting through this? >> well, for the moment, salaries are still being paid and there is generally enough food to go around and so they pretend life is normal. it's a state of denial but they cling to their routines and pretend life is normal because there is no alternative. >> pelley: elizabeth, thank you very much. five weeks after superstorm sandy, how many are still in the cold and dark? and the haunting image of a man pushed in front of a train when
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>> there's the water line right here. >> reporter: this staten island home joe ingento shares with his wife and three children is still without heat. >> i can't afford to do these. i have no more money. i'm broke. >> reporter: ingento has run out of money to fix the boiler flooded out by sandy. he's still waiting for his insurance check. >> i have flood insurance, i have homeowners insurance, i'm fully ensured. >> reporter: and they've given you nothing? >> absolutely zero. >> reporter: 6,000 homes and 800 apartment complexes around new york are without heat. when we met suzette robinson in her brooklyn apartment the only heat she had was from her gas stove. she'd suffered 16 straight days in the cold. >> it was freezing in here. you could blow smoke out of your mouth. that's how cold it was. >> reporter: the severe damage and shortage of repairmen have created delays few expected would last this long. 6,700 buildings in new york city need major work to become habitable.
2,100 families are still in fema-paid hotel rooms. >> all my electrical is all brand new. i had to do it all out of my pocket. >> reporter: joe ingento says he spent his entire savings on fixing what he could. if you didn't have that $10,000, where would you be right now? >> i'd be up the creek in a boat with a hole in it. >> reporter: right now he's paddling it as hard as he can. michelle miller, cbs news, staten island, new york. >> pelley: another new york story. a photograph on the front page of the "new york post" today is getting a lot of attention around the world. it shows kesuk hahn after he was pushed on to the subway tracks. he's trying to climb back on to the platform as the train approaches. he didn't make it. today in their murder investigation, police questioned a man matching the description of a suspect. cell phone video shows the victim arguing with that man moments before he was pushed on to the tracks. there is a new effort to stop a killing frenzy in africa.
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call unitedhealthcare to learn about medicare plans that may be right for you. call now. >> pelley: secretary of state hillary clinton called on world leaders to stop the epic slaughter of african elephants. last week we went to kenya where every year 25,000 elephants are being killed by poachers. the tusks are sold for thousands of dollars, often to chinese customers. >> our goal is to inform more people about this global conservation crisis. attacks on elephants and rhinos are multiplying at an alarming rate. >> pelley: so the state department declared today wildlife conservation day. secretary clinton has instructed u.s. diplomats all over the world to raise awareness about trafficking of wild animals. a photographer takes a tour of the world by subway. his pictures and his story are next.
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costly recount. next on cbs5 earth is a pretty big neighborhood. each of us shares the planet with about seven billion other people. we end tonight with a man who has decided that it was time to start meeting them. seth doane has his story. >> reporter: a yemeni girl peers out over her neighborhood. a young malaysian eats at her favorite restaurant. and an afghan boy cools himself on a hot summer day. >> yes, 80 here. >> reporter: seven years ago, danny goldfield set out to take pictures of one kid from every country on earth. >> so far, i have photographed children from 169 countries. so i have 24 more to go. >> reporter: what's interesting about this project is you didn't travel around the world to shoot these pictures. >> no. >> reporter: you shot everything right here in new
york city. >> yeah. i mean, to do the project, i traveled the world with my metrocard. >> reporter: the new york city subway metrocard was his ticket to the city's diverse neighborhoods. the idea was sparked on a cross- country trip when goldfield met rana singh sodhi at an arizona gas station. sodhi's brother had been murdered in a hate crime, gunned down in the days after 9/11. >> instead of receding from the world, he did quite the opposite. he bravely said to me that he was going to go out into the
world and meet his neighbors. >> reporter: goldfield was inspired to meet his own neighbors in a city of eight million where one in three is foreign-born. >> the way i did it is quite -- fitting with rana's prescription. i just started to show up at cultural organizations and churches and mosques and restaurants and hair-braiding salons. >> reporter: his photographs are now on display at this community center, the jcc in manhattan. >> you ever heard of this country, yemen? >> yeah. >> okay, like it's in the middle east area. >> reporter: one of the 169 faces is yelyi nordone, a nicaraguan orphan, adopted and brought to the u.s. at 7. she is 16 now, and her picture is sandwiched between mia from new zealand and sonia from niger. >> knowing that there are other kids that are from different places and they're actually living here makes me feel welcome. >> before i meet them, the most important thing is they're from a country so i can scratch it off the list. but once i meet them, it becomes less important. >> reporter: why? >> each one of these pictures, i hope, captures a very specific moment that reveals the authentic spirit of who these children are. >> reporter: goldfield wants viewers to look past the skin color, the clothing or the set of beliefs that so often divide
because these photographs are not about differences at all. seth doane, cbs news, new york. >> and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. h bi >> your realtime captioner: linda marie macdonald. good evening. i'm allen martin. >> i'm dana king. it was a close vote with billions on the line. >> the election is over but the battle over a sales tax measure in alameda county is taking a new turn. after losing by a narrow margin, a county agency is asking for an expensive recounty. cbs 5 reporter mike sugerman says taxpayers are being asked to pay for it. >> reporter: transportation officials in alameda county really wanted this megabillion ballot measure. it was so close. but they didn't get it. so they are now spending more money to see if they can still get it and as you say that angers a lot of taxpayers. tick, tick, tick.
>> yes. yes, yes. >> reporter: someone likened it to watching paint dry. >> yes, yes. >> reporter: most alameda county voters voted for measure b-1, 66.53% of them. but it needed two-thirds majority, 66.67%. the backers of the half cent sales tax that would fix potholes boost bus service and bring bart to livermore decided to buy a recount. >> we have been working on developing this transportation expenditure plan for 2.5 years through a highly public process. because there was so much voter support we wanted -- we requested a recount to make sure all the ballots have been counted appropriately. >> reporter: she is with the county transportation agency a public agency funded by tax money. this recount is being paid for by taxpayers. you think taxpayers will be paying for anything? >> i don't believe so. but they are not going to leave $7 billion on the table if they are within